This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.
Sir Alex Ferguson argues Manchester United against Liverpool is a bigger fixture than the Manchester derby, an indication as to its importance in the football calendar.
Phil Chisnall is the last of a select group of nine players who have been transferred directly between the two teams, something which seems implausible given today's climate.
Inside-forward Chisnall, whose transfer in 1964 was for the sizeable sum of £25,000, looks back on his career with two of the giants of English football and playing for Sir Matt Busby and Bill Shankly, two of the greatest-ever managers.
'When I was growing up, there wasn't the often-bitter rivalry which exists today in football. As somebody growing up in Manchester in the mid-fifties, I was by no means alone in going to watch United one week and City the next.
United were the more successful side as that was the era when the Busby Babes were starting to make their mark in football, but City also had a terrific team at that time. And it was because there were two successful sides in Manchester that so many people would watch both of them.
When I joined United's groundstaff in Easter 1958 shortly after the Munich air crash there certainly wasn't any great rivalry with Liverpool. That was because Liverpool were in the Second Division at the time when the Babes were the dominant team and therefore weren't perceived as a threat to them. City against United was the big derby, but today they talk about United versus Liverpool.
When I made by debut for United in 1961/62, Liverpool were still in the Second Division, though they were promoted that season. Bill Shankly had become manager a couple of years earlier. Liverpool's incredible rise continued as they were to win the First Division title in 1963/64 when United were runners-up. And it was in April 1964 that Shankly made a bid for me and I joined Liverpool. They lifted the FA Cup in 1965 and won the league again in 1965/66 and I think that is when the rivalry began because Liverpool had started to win things. Suddenly they were the two big teams of the north.
Manchester and Liverpool are two great cities less than one hour apart. The fans are from working-class backgrounds and they are proud of their own team which is why the rivalry exists. And in recent times it has become even more intense with United equalling and latterly overtaking Liverpool's record of eighteen league titles while both battle for supremacy in the Champions League.
There is a similar rivalry today involving Chelsea and Arsenal, though it is nowhere near as intense simply because neither has won the big European prize. And in London it has not always been Chelsea and Arsenal as Tottenham were the dominant team when they won the double in 1961 when Danny Blanchflower captained the team.
When I was transferred to Liverpool it was not the big deal it would be were it to happen today when it would be made big to sell newspapers. You would think it is life or death the way things are portrayed today, but it is only a game. I never played for United against Liverpool which was mainly due to the two teams being in different divisions when I joined them.
Though I only made nine appearances for Liverpool, one of them was for Liverpool at Old Trafford where we lost 3-1. I cannot remember what sort of reception I received, but it was nothing out of the ordinary. It certainly wasn't like Michael Owen when he was slaughtered by a section of the Liverpool fans on his return to Anfield which I find hard to come to terms with as he was such a good player for them.
It is a completely different ball game today with a celebrity culture and players treated as Gods.
When I was playing, most of us would walk up Sir Matt Busby Way after the match, have a couple of pints in The Quadrant where we would discuss the match with the fans. We would then join the queue and get the bus home from White City. And we would usually have to stand on the top deck and some frustrated window cleaner would have his two penneth about what had gone wrong if we hadn't won.
Today you don't see the players who are whisked away in their cars with the windows blacked out which is ridiculous!
I came from Davyhulme which is only a stone's throw away from Old Trafford and went to St Mary's Secondary School, Stretford. I played for Stretford and Lancashire Boys as well as England Schoolboys and I think it was a foregone conclusion that I signed for United being a local lad, even though I could have gone to any number of clubs, the likes of City, Bolton and Aston Villa.
It was a difficult arriving at Old Trafford so soon after Munich and they were forced to bring in a number of emergency players, the likes of Stan Crowther and Ernie Taylor. I had only been at the club a matter of weeks when I was taken to Wembley. I had played there for England Schoolboys but this was the first time I had been to the Final of the FA Cup.
I made my debut at nineteen and that age you are not intimidated and you don't have much fear. It was great to play alongside such players and be paid for doing so. When you looked at the forward line of Law, Best and Charlton together with David Herd and Johnny Giles it took some beating.
There were also the likes of Harry Gregg, Tony Dunne and Bill Foulkes so simply to get a game was some achievement. To get one game in that company wasn't bad, but I was lucky to play just short of fifty times in the days when there were no substitutes. And I also scored in the Manchester derby which was a highlight. David Herd also found the net in a 2-0 win at Maine Road.
The move to Liverpool came as a surprise. I was called in by Busby to be told he had received a bid from Liverpool. I didn't have to go but they were top of the league and they must have thought I could do something for them. I was only twenty-one years of age and in those days you didn't have all the advisers like they have today. You simply made up your own mind yourself.
Money wasn't an issue as I was on £35 when I went to Liverpool which was an increase from what I was earning at United. It was a good wage, probably twice the average wage at that time, but nothing like today. When I made my debut at Old Trafford I was earning £12.50 and after ten games I was given a rise to £17.50 with £2 for a draw and £4 for a win.
When I joined Liverpool there was competition from the likes of Roger Hunt, Ian St John, Peter Thompson and Ian Callaghan so it wasn't any easier getting a game.
I was lucky to play for two of the top teams in the country and accepted I wasn't going to play regularly, though that would probably be different today. I had competition from the likes of Bobby Charlton, Nobby Stiles and Roger Hunt who were all World Cup winners.
It was an amazing time to be in Liverpool in the mid-sixties as the Beatles were making their mark and there were other bands. Liverpool was buzzing and the in place to be, and it was as though everything was happening there.
I was lucky to play for three of the greatest managers of all time - Busby, Shankly and Sir Alf Ramsey for England under-23s. They were all brilliant, though in their own ways.
Ramsey didn't show the passion and enthusiasm of Shankly and he was more like a schoolteacher though, obviously, he knew what he was doing. I was in a unique position of being in the same room as Busby and Shankly discussing my future, though in those days I was young and didn't think too much about it. Shankly had great admiration for Busby and were in many respects like father and son. Shankly, who was just starting out in management, would often come to Old Trafford to seek Busby's advice.
I think the bond was struck because they were both Scottish and of mining stock. And because they were down-to-earth, I think that is what they made them such good managers. They knew how lucky they were to be well paid to be involved in football, and that gave a hunger to succeed and not have to return to their roots. It is similar with Ferguson who worked in the shipyards in Glasgow. You only have to look at the success he has achieved to see how good he is.
If you looked at Busby and his assistant Jimmy Murphy, Busby was quiet and not excitable whereas Murphy was the fiery Welshman, and they complemented each other. It was a similar thing with Shankly and Bob Paisley at Liverpool where Shankly was excitable and Paisley the calming influence.
Shankly would have a subtle way of saying things and one thing always sticks in my mind.
When we were playing at home, sometimes we would go to stay at a hotel at Lymm on the Friday night. If we were staying at home, Shankly would say don't forget to put your boxing gloves on when you went to bed. It was his clever way of telling you to abstain the night before a game without telling you bluntly.
And when we were going to a hotel on a Friday night, in answer to what time we would leave, he would reply what time does The Untouchables finish on television as he would never leave until he had watched the programme.
He loved going against convention just like gangsters do what they want. And when he was stood on the touchline in his hat and raincoat he reminded me of James Cagney. Nobody would say it, but I figured it out myself.'